A fair settlement in any personal injury claim should cover medical expenses and lost earnings. As a plaintiff, you only get one bite at the apple, and it is unlikely that it will be possible to sue a defendant’s insurance company again. Therefore, ensure that your claim is comprehensive and covers all current and future expenses, including lost earnings.
Here is some information about lost wages and how to include them in a personal injury lawsuit claim:
Defining lost wages
After being involved in a car accident that causes bodily injuries, you might need to take some time off work to recover. Part of that time may be spent in the hospital, while the rest consists of recuperation at home. It could be a matter of days, weeks, or even months before you are ready to return to work. Your employer is unlikely to pay your wages while you recover from your injuries once your sick leave is depleted.
A personal injury attorney in Kansas City from the Devkota Law Firm confirms that you can claim any wages lost during this time from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If they are underinsured or uninsured, you can claim lost wages from your insurance carrier.
Past lost wages
This sum is not too challenging to calculate. By adding up the hours of work missed due to an injury, you can determine past lost wages without too many complications. Get a letter from your employer detailing your weekly working hours, payment rate per hour, and their calculation of how many hours of work you missed.
Your claim does not need to be limited to the time you took off to recover. Any follow-up doctor’s appointments related to the accident that required time off work should also form part of a past lost wages claim.
Future lost wages
Calculating how much you would have earned in the future had the accident not occurred is a complex process. It becomes important when you are no longer able to work at all because of injuries sustained in the accident. Personal injury attorneys hire experts to calculate future lost earnings on behalf of clients.
Actuaries and other specialists such as vocational economists use your past and current earnings to plot a potential trajectory of your career had the accident not resulted in you being unable to work. Work with a reputable personal injury lawyer who can hire qualified, respected experts to convince a judge and jury to award you a fair settlement.
While you might be able to return to work after an accident, there is a chance that you cannot do your job the way you did before the accident. For example, some people might only work part-time. Alternatively, they may have to take a lesser paying job that suits their new post-accident physical condition.
Experts will evaluate how the accident has affected your earning potential over the remainder of your working life. You can sue an insurance company for any difference between what you would have earned compared with your current earning potential.
For the self-employed
Self-employed people need different documentation to prove their income loss after an accident. For example, your tax returns and bank statements showing your annual income would be necessary. You can also include letters from customers confirming jobs you were unable to complete due to your injuries.
Having their business’s books on hand allows a plaintiff to demonstrate the earnings loss that an accident caused, including company closure, bankruptcy, laying off staff, and other financial consequences. Experts can calculate a fair settlement using this data.